PowerBoost Vs. PowerStroke: Differences & Which Ford Engine Is Better?

Looking to buy a new Ford truck? Confused about the differences between the PowerBoost and PowerStroke engines? We break it all down for you right here.

Ford F150

Ford engines are some of the most popular and talked about on the road today. Among the top options are the PowerBoost and the PowerStroke, both of which have a huge following but for different reasons. So, how do you choose between the two? Which is better between the PowerBoost vs. PowerStroke motors?

In this guide, we walk through what each of the engines has to offer and what they do best. We also compare the two to one another, helping you determine which option is better. At the end of the guide, you gain answers to your top Ford motor questions. 

What is PowerBoost?

The Ford PowerBoost engine is a hybrid motor that’s trademarked by the Ford Motor Company. However, without the Department of Energy, these motors might never have existed. In 2009, the government agency provided Ford with a $5.9 billion loan to build more facilities and upgrade operations to create these engines, along with others, such as the EcoBoost. Why was the government so interested in Ford’s motors?

Ford wanted a lineup of engines that were gas-powered but also had an electric motor for more efficiency. Because this goal coincides with everything the Department of Energy stands for, the agency was happy to assist. 

Today, the PowerBoost lineup of engines is available in new F-150 trucks. The 3.5-liter hybrid engine creates more torque and horsepower than all light-duty pickups and provides up to 12,700 pounds of available towing capacity. 

What Is PowerStroke?

PowerStroke is another trademark of Ford, but it’s a completely different kind of engine. This label is put on a lineup of diesel engines. 

These diesel motors have been in production since 1994. You can find a variety of displacements for these motors as well, including the 3.0-liter and the 7.3-liter. 

Sadly, there is no longer a PowerStroke option with the F-150 lineup. The final option was with the 2021 F-150 models that include the 3.0-liter PowerStroke. If you have a local dealership near you, it may still be possible to find a new, leftover F-150 with a PowerStroke engine. Otherwise, you might be stuck purchasing a used truck. 

What are the Differences Between PowerBoost and PowerStroke?

Aside from one engine being a gas-powered model while the other is a diesel, there are some significant differences between PowerBoost and PowerStroke. The performance, fuel economy, compression ratio and durability all vary. The model years, maintenance requirements and costs are also important to evaluate.

1. Performance

Ford Raptor

The Ford PowerBoost engine is a turbocharged motor that provides 400 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. It’s designed to create fast acceleration and great top speeds. This motor is brand-new with the 2021 model year and only comes as a V6 variant. 

On the other hand, the PowerStroke is a diesel engine and it also creates a lot of torque, designed for towing and hauling. It can be found in a variety of variants because it has been available for so long. Over the years, it’s offered the highest levels of towing and hauling capability, which is why it’s been a favorite among workers around the country. 

2. Fuel Economy

According to Ford, the PowerBoost engine provides up to 700 miles per gas tank. The EPA further gives the PowerBoost F-150 ratings of 25/25 mpg city/highway. It’s difficult to find a truck with numbers such as these, making this hybrid engine one of the best choices for saving fuel. 

PowerStroke engines are found in the entire F-Series lineup. With the direct injection and turbocharged design, these motors do add some efficiency, especially when compared with gas engines. However, ratings vary by what type of PowerStroke engine is included. For example, the EPA determined that the 2021 Ford F-150 could earn 20/27 mpg with the PowerStroke motor. 

Overall, the hybrid motor is going to provide the best fuel efficiency. In the coming years, the technology will get even better, adding to more miles per gallon. Of course, it will never compete with the new F-150 Lightning, which is the company’s all-electric truck, but it does come in a close second. 

3. Compression Ratio

The term compression ratio defines the measurement of compressing the maximum cylinder volume into the minimum cylinder volume. It’s the volume of the cylinder with the piston all the way down in relation to when it’s all the way up. These are written as a ratio, but said written out. 

For example, the compression ratio of the PowerBoost engine is 10.5:1, which is said as “ten point five to one.” PowerStroke engines have a range of compression ratios depending on which model you are looking at. For example, the 6.9 is 20.7 to 1, while the 7.3 is 21.5 to 1.

4. Durability

Ford Terrain

It’s difficult to gauge the durability of the PowerBoost engines because it is so new. Time will tell how well this engine holds up, but enthusiasts are hopeful. 

On the other hand, we know how the PowerStroke fares. Some models were duds, while others are highly coveted. From a personal standpoint, we aren’t big fans of the 6.0L but would knock down doors to get the 7.3L.

5. Model Years

There’s a big difference between what models include each of these engines. You can only find the PowerBoost engine on newer Ford trucks. It’s been available since 2021 on the F-150 and Maverick trucks. In the future, it might be offered on more models.

As far as the PowerStroke engine is concerned, you can no longer get it with new F-150 trucks. Yet, because of how long the engine has been around, it’s still easy to find with used models. There have been a variety of PowerStroke engines over the years, so you won’t have trouble hunting one down.

If you want a new PowerStroke engine, there is still an option. The Ford Super Duty lineup continues to be built with this engine and doesn’t offer the hybrid motor. You have to spend a lot more to drive a Super Duty and it might be overkill for your needs, but it’s all that’s available if a new PowerStroke is what matters the most to you. There’s very little likelihood that the Super Duty will be offered with the hybrid engine any time soon. 

6. Maintenance Requirements

The PowerBoost engine requires the same amount of maintenance as any gas-powered motor. You will need to change the oil and filters regularly. In a few years, we will have a better idea about how much time and money is spent on repairs.

With the PowerStroke engine, the maintenance costs can be adequately measured. While you will perform normal diesel engine maintenance for any model, the 6.0L is going to require more care. If you have this PowerStroke motor, prepare to spend more on repairs and upkeep. 

7. Cost

As with any engine purchase, the diesel motor is going to be more expensive to the manufacturer, which gets passed on to the customer. With that said, the cost of these trucks is a better investment. 

Unlike gas-powered trucks, the diesel pickup is going to retain its value better. Even years later, you can still expect a great resale value for your diesel Ford. 

Is PowerStroke or PowerBoost Engines Better?

How do you choose between the PowerBoost and PowerStroke engines? If you are purchasing a brand-new F-150, you won’t have much of a choice, since the PowerStroke is no longer included on new F-150 truck models. 

Other than that, there are several criteria used to determine what’s best. If you want the option that’s best for the environment, the Ford PowerBoost would be a good choice. It’s efficient and better for today’s modern age.

On the other hand, the PowerStroke motor can be extremely reliable and it retains its resale value. You just have to be careful which diesel engine you choose, as some variants aren’t nearly as reliable as others. You will also need to pay more for a truck with a diesel engine compared to one that’s gas-powered or a hybrid. It might require saving up some money to get the pickup that you want. 

Is the Ford PowerBoost good?

The Ford PowerBoost engine is a brand-new hybrid motor, just released in 2021. It’s equipped with some F-150 trucks and provides 400 horsepower. The quick acceleration and superior power make it a favorite among enthusiasts, but it could take a few years before we know how reliable it is. 

Will Superduty get PowerBoost?

The Super Duty trucks are expected to undergo some changes for the 2023 model year. However, at this time, all reports suggest that the PowerBoost engine won’t be one of these changes. The motor options seem to remain the same with the new Super Duty lineup. 

Is the Ford PowerBoost a turbo?

The Ford PowerBoost engine is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 hybrid motor that pumps out 400 horsepower. It’s also rated for 570 lb-ft of torque, ensuring superior acceleration and plenty of pulling power. It’s available on 2021 Ford trucks. 

What can a PowerBoost tow?

Starting with the 2021 Ford F-150 lineup, the 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid V6 engine allows for up to 12,700 pounds of maximum towing capacity. Additionally, the maximum payload capacity is up to 1,321 pounds when properly equipped. 

Conclusion

It might seem like a difficult decision to choose between the PowerBoost vs. PowerStroke, but it shouldn’t be. The PowerBoost engine is a hybrid configuration, while the PowerStroke is diesel-powered. 

Of course, these are just the main differences between the two Ford engines. To determine what’s best for you, it’s necessary to look at all of the similarities and differences first.

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